Golden Grove School Trip – MOTAT
TAGS: 2024Golden Grove SchoolMOTAT

Friday 3rd of May School Trip to Auckland’s Museum Of Transport And Technology.

On Friday 3rd of May, the whole of Golden Grove School ventured to Auckland’s Museum Of Transport And Technology for an educational and fun day out. After a group bus ride, the students arrived at the site for the first half of the trip, MOTAT’s Aviation Hall. Here, they received a custom education lesson relating to early New Zealand/Aotearoa history. The lesson presented the students with many historical artifacts and hands-on learning with early settler tools!

After their session, students freely explored the Aviation Hall which is home to more than 20 historical aircrafts including helicopters, fighter jets, transport craft and even early aerospace attempts at flight in New Zealand. One of the highlights of the Aviation Hall for many students was a decommissioned commercial helicopter used for tours in the North Island which students could sit inside and steer via the disconnected flight controls. Students also could use the onboard radio to communicate with others outside the aircraft, resulting in many students guiding the craft to different locations via radio communication as the pilots and passengers ‘flew’ to destinations around the world, like renowned aviator, Jean Batten.

After their adventures at the Aviation Hall and a small morning tea break, students piled on to MOTAT’s historical Tram No. 248. This was one of Auckland’s iconic 1930s streamliner trams, among the elite cohort that travelled Queen Street until 1956. It is now caringly preserved and maintained by dedicated MOTAT staff, alongside a fleet of seven other historical trams at MOTAT. Travelling aboard Tram No. 248 students rode to the site of the second half of the trip, The Great North Road MOTAT site.

The Great North Road MOTAT site is the main part of MOTAT featuring The Pumphouse, Get Smart Exhibition and Machine Makers to name a few. With the students stopping for a hearty and boisterous lunch break after their tram ride, the school then divided into individual groups headed by Golden Grove Staff and Parent Volunteers to explore the exciting exhibitions of MOTAT.

From bridge building and paper crafts to water corkscrews and a giant hamster wheel, the Machine Makers exhibition had interactive machines to teach students six basic fundamentals of mechanics and the ground work for engineering practices. Attached to the same building, was the Machine Makers Lab where students could join engineers to create their own inventions, inspired by collections of complex machines like a robotic hand, penny farthing, and even the creations of previous visitors. Many students used their origami skills from last year, to create paper planes. Some went as far as using the knowledge from the morning’s visit to the Aviation Hall and the basics of mechanics to engineer their designs to perfection before adding eclectic colours and decorations.

The Pumphouse is a restored 1877 landmark, with a functioning beam engine that supplied fresh water from the nearby Western Springs to the whole of Auckland, and a boiler room where student experienced the sound, heat, smell and power of fully operational steam engine. Many students tactfully sought refuge here during one of the sudden downpours, but afterwards, they ventured to the playground to “blow of some steam.”

The Get Smart Exhibition followed the growth of computing, gaming and communications over the past 200 years and followed the use of technology to see how New Zealand connected with the rest of the globe, from Morse code to Facebook. Many students found themselves intrigued and unable to look away, especially the historical and modern gaming section, which featured two arcade machines that many students frequented, attempting original games such as Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

The Old School House lives up to its name and was an unexpected highlight for every group on the trip. Here, students sat in a original Wainui school house, built in 1878 in church fashion, made almost entirely from native Kauri wood. With simple wooden desks and an old blackboard, students began an unfamiliar, rigid routine of a school day, with students taking turns to teach their peers and the adults. However, ‘teacher’ students quickly created and placed many of their classmates in the ‘naughty corner,’ as they breached some archaic example rules written on the board from the time of schooling in 1870s, such as ‘Speak ONLY when spoken too’ or ‘Do Not work with your left-hand.’

The students were buzzing with excitement from an amazing visit to MOTAT, and had plenty to discuss with their friends. This was evident in the animated discussions they had in the bus on the journey back to school.

A huge thank you to all Staff, Parent Volunteers and Students for participating on this trip, we look forward to seeing you for our next big adventure.
Nga mihi nui – Thank you.